In recent news, the government of the State of Israel has begun the construction of its expanded coronavirus testing center at the Ben-Gurion Airport. It was initiated early on Friday morning, in the form of a huge tent. The new testing site will be able to accommodate a large number of people and administer around 2,500 tests of the coronavirus every hour.
The announcement of the construction of the testing site was made by the Defense and Transportation Ministries. They laid emphasis on how this expanded center will allow the relevant authorities to conduct a larger number of tests, as the summer months quickly approach.
The tent is to be around 1,500 square meters in size. Construction for the site that began early on Friday morning will be halted for the Shabbat. It will be resumed once again on the night of Saturday, in order to ensure that the testing center is functional in time for next week.
The Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett, took to the micro-blogging website, Twitter, to reveal that after a year and a half of fighting the global pandemic, the government decided to build an extensive testing center at the primary airport of the country. He added that this site is designed to be efficient and cut down on waiting times, thus providing quick results for diagnoses.
Bennett went on to express joy at the fact that things are moving at the desired pace. He also thanked Merav Michaeli, the Transportation Minister, Nitzan Horowitz, the Health Minister, Benny Gantz, the Defense Minister, and Ayelet Shaked, the Interior Minister for their efforts in ensuring the construction of the new testing site.
As per the Transportation Minister, the new testing center is necessary to help the country fight against coronavirus. He said that it is highly important if Israel wants to protect the health of its citizens and defend the borders against the deadly diseases. He added that this move is quite similar to the decision made by the government to divert people from incoming flights to Terminal 1 of the Ben-Gurion Airport.
Michaeli’s ministry was the one that came up with the idea to build a testing site in the first place. According to him, this move comes at the right time as summer nears and air traffic is likely to increase.
Though the country recorded the lowest number of cases ever since the beginning of the pandemic in the month of June, the infectious Delta variant has been leading to an increase in the number of patients. Currently, there have only been six deaths in the country in the last two weeks.
The Defense Minister stated that increasing the testing capacity at the Ben-Gurion Airport, as the summer months approach, is extremely important. In his words, it is a vital tool in helping fight against the coronavirus and ensuring the well-being of the citizens of Israel.
In the first half of June, the number of cases recorded in the State of Israel was no more than 200. However, just two weeks later, several outbreaks occurred in some cities and over 2,000 cases were registered by the Health Ministry.